The Tattoos of the Tokyo Olympics

The Tattoos of the Tokyo Olympics

We dedicated our last post to gold Olympian and Staffordshire son and swimmer Adam Peaty and his ancient Greek and Roman-themed sleeves. But of course, not only Britons and gold medalists have their tattoos on display at the Tokyo Olympics. Let’s take a look at some of the more prominent ink proudly sported by the athletes in a country that has a, to say the least, conflicted relationship to the art of tattooing. 

Nyjah Huston on Inked CoverOf course, there are plenty of Olympic rings featured on various body parts and locations across the field. However, many athletes at the top of their game have spent many more hours in a tattoo artist’s chair. 

Nyjah Huston, skateboarding

One of them is US skateboarder Nyjah Huston. Unfortunately, the normally dominant athlete did not have his best days on his board as the sport made its Olympic debut at the one-year delayed games in Japan. Huston, whose mother is white and his dad black and Japanese, has even been featured on the cover of Inked Magazine.

And no wonder. He has a beautiful collection of blackwork all over his body. Dotwork, lettering, black and grey realism, Japanese symbols, butterflies, sacred geometry, small finger tats – you name it. But Huston (and his artists) make it work, and the separate pieces come together in quite the collection. 

There is, of course, a skateboard adorning his right upper arm, and, wait for it – he has at least two lions. One on his outer right bicep, and one below his solar plexus.There is also a compass and a clock on his chest, for good measure. More original pieces are the detailed angels flanking the area of his kindeys, and

Brenda Castillo
Photo from Instagram @brendacastillofficial

the translucent-like skull in the center of his back.

Brenda Castillo, Volleyball

Meanwhile, Dominican Republic volleyball player Brenda Castillo has a fabulous neck tattoo made up of intricate dotwork featuring the flower of life in a repeated pattern. The 29-year old Olympian who placed fifth with her team in the 2012 London games also has pieces that travel down her arms, including a good version of a red rose on her left shoulder and – a lion just below. It seems it’s not only male athletes that turn to the ‘king of the jungle’ to represent their strength within their field. 

Caeleb Dressel, swimming

Caeleb Dressel
Photo from Instagram @caelebdressel

Pivoting back to the pool, the dominance of the United States men in the 4×100 freestyle relay may have been supported by the Speedo Fastskin suits (not that there is that much of them), but we are sure the ink on Caeleb Dressel didn’t hurt. The athlete has a striking full sleeve that runs from his chest down his left shoulder.

Made up of several different pieces melded together, the main fauna features are, low and behold, NOT lions, but rather a crocodile, a bear, and an eagle. The two latter are perhaps a little unexpected for someone who spends half their waking life in the water, but that makes it all the more interesting. 


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